Behçets Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment
Behcets Syndrome also called Behcet’s Disease is a rare condition which results in inflammation of the blood vessels and tissues of the body. The diagnosis of Behcets Syndrome offers many challenges as its symptoms are shared by several other conditions and can be misdiagnosed for weeks, months and even years.
Symptoms of Behçets Syndrome
Behcets is often a relapsing, remitting disease with flare-ups and periods of remission.
- Inflammation of blood vessels
- Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
- Mouth ulcers
- Ulcers on the genitals
- Sensitive skin
- Eye inflammation
- Blurred vision including eye pain
- Skin lesions
- Rashes that may look like acne
- Headaches including migraines
- Swollen, stiff and painful joints
- Severe cases may manifest in permanent loss of sight and strokes.
Diagnosing Behçets Syndrome
There is no definitive test to diagnose Behçets syndrome, which makes it a very difficult condition. Blood tests and urine samples may be necessary for signs or help rule out other possible causes such as cancerous tumors in your body. CT scans or MRI scans also can be used if those do not produce any results from another diagnostic method like pathergy testing (a tissue sample). Also symptoms must occur three times within one year before the condition is diagnosed, so keeping track of symptoms, how long each symptom lasts and recording what type of symptoms occur is important. The process of diagnosis can be very difficult as other diseases are tested and ruled-out during the time period.
Causes of Behcets Disease
The cause of Behçets disease is unknown, although most experts believe it to be an autoinflammatory condition. The body’s natural defenses against infection and illness mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in some cases-most commonly towards blood vessels or joints where inflammation occurs. The proximity of the blood vessels coupled by identical protein markers found on both types of cells during tests done via biopsy samples.
It’s not clear what triggers this problem with the immune system, but 2 things are thought to play a role:
- genes – Behçets tends to be much more common in certain ethnic groups the Middle East and Mediterranean countries.
- environmental factors
The Autoimmune Registry supports research for Behçets by collecting information about patients with this and other autoimmune diseases. You can join the registry to share your information with researchers and receive updates about participating in new research studies.